Mark Cavendish had the hopes of the home nation riding on his shoulders in the Olympic men's road race. At the end, he was left to sprint for nothing but pride.
The world champion cyclist and his four teammates, including Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, had been labeled a ''dream team'' going into Saturday's race. All of Britain had hoped Cavendish would be able to secure the country's first gold on Day 1 of the Olympics being hosted on its home soil.
The team was unable to close down a late breakaway that resulted in Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan winning the gold medal. The Isle of Man's favorite son was a distant 28th, 40 seconds behind Vinokourov, who managed to break clear of Rigoberto Uran down the stretch.
The Colombian rider wound up taking the silver medal, while Norway's Alexander Kristoff won the bronze. For Britain, there was no medal at all.
''The guys all sat there in the tent absolutely spent. We did everything we could,'' Cavendish said a...